What is a Physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists are a first contact Allied Health Professional who are involved in the
assessment, diagnosis, planning and management of patient care. As a first contact Allied
Health Professional you do not need a referral to see a Physiotherapist and they can assist in
diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions, by means of referring you for xrays and some scans.
Our accreditation requirements?
To be recognised and qualify as a physiotherapist, practitioners must complete a bachelor,
masters or professional doctorate program. They must also complete supervised practice in a
clinical setting. Physiotherapists are required by law to be registered under the National
Physiotherapy Board of Australia. Members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association must
also complete continuing professional development each year.
How we work with Exercise Physiologists?
When asked how Exercise Physiologists differ from Physiotherapists, we often refer to the
different stages of the injury cycle in order to illustrate at which point each health professional
can provide optimal treatment for recovery.
Injury Cycle – Acute Phase
Immediately post injury (this is often called the ‘acute phase’ of the injury), it is recommended to
visit a Physiotherapist in order to assist in controlling inflammation of the joint and pain. At this
stage, Physiotherapists are also able to provide a diagnosis of the injury, provide manual
therapy, and if needed, provide temporary mobility aids such as a splint or crutch.
Injury Cycle – Recovery Phase
The next phase of rehabilitation, which usually occurs at 3 to 4 weeks post injury, is when an
Exercise Physiologist will step in and provide treatment in order to introduce gentle exercises to
regain range of movement, including mobilisation of soft tissue structures, and restore joint
mobility and strength to optimise function. All exercises prescribed by the Exercise Physiologist
are made to achieve each individual’s activities of daily living and rehabilitation or performance
goals.The exercises prescribed may also compliment any exercises previously given by the
physiotherapist or act as progressions.
What sort of treatment do Physiotherapists use?
● exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
● joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
● muscle re-education to improve control
● airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises
● soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
● acupuncture and dry needling